This new novel by Gillian Slovo was inspired by her extensive research for a 2011 play loosely based on the London riots.
It's 4:00 a.m., and dawn is about to break over the Lovelace estate. Cathy Mason drags herself out of bed as she swelters in her overheated bedroom - the council still haven't turned the radiators off despite temperatures reaching the 30s.
In a kitchen across London, Home Secretary Peter Whiteley enjoys the tea that his security detail left for him before he joins his driver and heads to Parliament whilst his new police chief, Joshua Yares, clears his head for his first day with a run. All three will have reasons to recollect this morning as their lives collide over ten days they will never forget.
Ten Days takes an unflinching look at how lives are ruined and careers are made when small misjudgements have profound effects on frustrated communities and damaged individuals.
©2016 Gillian Slovo (P)2016 Audible, Ltd
"An extraordinary novel - a page-turner thick with greed, ambition, love and secrets, and simultaneously an incisive portrayal of power and powerlessness in today's Britain." (Kamila Shamsie)
"Ten Days of tension, trouble and tough truths - Gillian Slovo tells it like it almost certainly is - she's written a cracker." (Val McDemid)
Prof of Global Health & Development - wide interests, fiction & non-, politics, justice & rights, culture & food, travel, art & creativity
Terrific read based on an imagined (but probably well researched) behind the scenes analysis of British politics and its sleazy underbelly alongside riots in London around 2011. Compelling reading built around players in this tragedy - politicians who will do anything to keep a step ahead, police leaders trying to cope with bureaucracy, politics, resource cuts, and community members feeling targeted, misunderstood and undermined. A great Audible listen... Atmospheric and impressive - has inspired me to read more from Gillian Slovo.
Herbalist, teacher, mum
Read this book. Obviously, meticulously researched, well written, and excellent narration. Palpable loathing of one of the politicians involved.
I write short stories and love reading. I can't stand poor grammar though. I like most types of books but I don't like erotica or romance.
So far I have read about two hours of this book and already i can see what happened and how. It's a good plot by the sound of things but it reads like an extended newspaper article as if written by a journalist maybe a crime reporter or political correspondent or both. In that respect it's disappointing but it does raise some interesting questions such as what do we do when somebody with a mental health issue is targetted in order that somebody might provoke a situation. In some ways the book reads like something a social worker would write but it tries to use modern phrases. In summing up this title I'd say predictable but with a good plot badly executed. Too mmany 'saids' and not enough flair in terms of giving it the suspense the plot truly deserves. The narator doesn't help sounding throughout as though he has a speech problem.
The story was predicable and dreary with two dimensional characters who I cared little for. This is my first review, I don't normally post anything but I thought my effort might save somebody else from buying this book.
Unlikely on this performance.
By not buying the book.
All of them.
Avoid and save your money.
Say something about yourself!
I have previously read and loved the Orange shortlisted ‘Ice Road’ by Gillian Slovo. Thus I chose this one and glad I did.
The narrative was excellent aiding the delivery.
This took place during a heatwave over a ’Ten’ day period on a fictional impoverished London estate, feeling directly linked to the London Riots of 2011.
Varied societal groups including politicians, police, residents of the estate with their personal race/backgrounds, outlooks and power struggles are shown colliding head on with explosive consequences.
The death of Ruben a disabled black man during restraint by the Police acts like a ‘boiling kettle’ triggering the violence acting like a ‘domino’ effect on other events. Showing the poignancy of Ruben’s family reaction, their genuine grief and wish to engage with the Police who sidelined them completely was heartbreaking.
The political ramifications are far reaching with the Home Secretary actively attempting to push the Prime Minister off his perch. At the same time the new Met Police Commissioner is fighting for his job.
Reading this feels so true to life in the light of current world wide political dramas while within the UK the nastiness and back stabbing within the political arena is none so obvious as the recent debacle between Michael Gove and Boris Johnson coining the phrase ‘Doing a Gove’. The political side of the drama feels like being in the room with ‘Francis Underwood’ from the TV drama ‘House of Cards’ when he was at his most dangerous.
I was captivated from the off at times at the edge of my seat with the thrilling tension of whats coming next. The characters were so varied I thought Cathy was a decent woman with an inclusive nature who tried to help her family neighbours and wider community. She did this despite her own abject poverty dealing with a grumpy teenager Lyndall and without the love or affection of Banji the object of her undying affection.
I felt fascinated by all their lives including the Home Secretary with the mess of his personal life. The writing style was intelligible and lucid, putting the reader in the centre of the melee.
This felt well researched with a resolute truthful and credible feel to it. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it.
Pity the narrator who made a good fist of what has to be one of the most badly written and edited, cliche-ridden books of the past year. At times the writing and use of language is so poor it literally made me cringe. Don't waste your credits.
interesting novel , nicely read and a great mix of fact and fiction. The capital is being improved for capitalism .
First, I have to mention the reading, which is amateur at best, with a very annoying lilt, misunderstanding of how punctuation should add poise to a text, and rather pathetic voices for alternative character.
That is insignificant in comparison with the story. It begins intriguingly, but soon becomes disjointed, filled with non-sequiturs and pathetic plot development that is not even worthy of a 12 year-old's fantasy.
I can recommend nothing about this story, other than the last full stop, and am absolutely amazed that Audible should even begin to market this wandering word salad.
Enjoyed the book and narration ,
But unfortunately found it a tad predictable and its characters very stereotypical.
I liked her earlier stuff much more.
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